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Confessions of faith: Gabby Kim

A South Korean student at Michigan Lutheran Seminary shares her journey of faith.

I was raised as an atheist in an atheist household in a nonreligious country.

The first real exposure I had with religion was my Christian elementary school. My parents agreed to send me there, because although they were not believers, they both believed that a Christian environment would provide good morals and education.

As an impressionable child, I considered myself a Christian—everyone at school was one, so I wanted to be part of the club. According to my teachers, Jesus loved me, so why shouldn’t I love him? My parents rolled their eyes, assuming it was just a “phase.” Life at school, a major part of my childhood, was filled with God, so it was enough to influence me on the surface. But I never really knew God, nor did I truly understand what being a Christian meant.

After graduation, I moved to a public middle school. I had Buddhist friends, Christian friends, Catholic friends, but mostly atheist friends. My religious friends didn’t talk much about their faith. Wanting to fit in once more, I became atheist again. I convinced myself that my faith and love for God were simply the influence of my elementary school; it really didn’t mean anything. By the time I graduated middle school, Christianity was completely wiped out of my mind.

Then came the chance for me to go to a high school in America, a thrilling opportunity that I had long desired. The only thing was that all of my school options were Christian, or more specifically, Lutheran. I had never heard of WELS. I wasn’t exactly overjoyed to go to another religious school, but because my experiences at Christian schools had always been wonderful, I did not care that much. Although I had thought that chapter in my life had ended, I didn’t mind opening it up again. However, I was determined not to be converted like I had been before. I wanted to stay true to myself.

E-news exclusive photos of Gabby Kim

Gabby Kim with her grandparents
Gabby Kim with her host family--mom, dad, and two sisters
Gabby Kim and four other Michigan Lutheran Seminary cheerleaders
Featured image at top shows Gabby with the Michigan Lutheran Seminary Concert Choir. Here she is shown with her grandparents in South Korea; a Michigan Lutheran Seminary friend at a cross-country meet; her host family; and the poms team. See more photos at forwardinchrist.net/gabby-kim.

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